Title: First Drop of Crimson
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress World #1; Night Huntress Universe #5
Denise MacGregor has been trying to forget about the supernatural world and restart her life without her husband. But when her family members keep dying unexpectedly, she finds herself swept back into the world of vampires, ghouls, and demons.
I am so happy that Frost decided to write some spin-off series with some of the main side characters from the Night Huntress world. Spade has been Bones’ best mate since before he was turned and now we finally see him get a second chance at love. Spade was a great hero and the perfect person for Denise. He is super protective of her, which is reasonable considering his past, but he doesn’t refuse to listen to her wants or needs. He always goes out of his way to make her feel safe, even when she doesn’t realize it. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving Spade.
“When Spade looked at her, she felt like she wasn’t the broken, pitiful, helpless widow others saw. Spade saw a woman with a scarred past who had the strength to go on despite her loss.”
Denise has had some very traumatic experiences in her life and she suffers from PTSD because of it, but only around vampires, which is understandable considering they have been the center of that pain. She lost her husband violently and blames herself for not stopping him from going into danger. I really liked Denise. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to Spade, or any other vampire really, and always spoke her mind. She was a great heroine and I loved seeing her open her heart to love again.
The hunt to get rid of the demon essence in Denise’s body was very interesting. Demons have only been mentioned in one previous novella, Devil to Pay, and it was just demon possession not a fully formed demon. I really enjoyed the whole hunt and the surprises that came along with it. Denise really became a unique paranormal and I can’t wait to see if she will play a role in future books.
Overall, this was a wonderful story with some great characters. I can always count on Jeaniene Frost to write amazing characters in a rich world and I really hope we keep seeing more from this world. I also can’t wait to start the next book since it is Mencheres’ story!
Trigger Warnings: Denise’s husband was killed a year ago and she had a miscarriage shortly after his death. Her aunt and cousins were also killed recently. Spade’s wife was raped and killed (references and flashbacks). Grief. PTSD.